As you are aware, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the University of Georgia’s operations has been severe. We are pleased to report that some relief has been provided in recent weeks through funds received from the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

$23.7 million was allocated to the University of Georgia through the CARES Act – $11.85 million in direct grants to students, and $11.85 million in institutional aid. After following the U.S. Department of Education’s application process, these funds have been received.

This federal assistance has enabled the University to support the ongoing education of thousands of UGA students and preserve the jobs of hundreds of UGA staff members who directly serve those students. In addition, this aid has put the University in a better position financially as we prepare to return to campus for the Fall Semester.

The student financial assistance, available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund (part of CARES), enabled the University to distribute grants to students with demonstrated financial need to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The amount of each HEER Fund Grant, based on eligibility for need-based federal financial aid, ranged from $200 to $1,000 for the Spring Semester. To help minimize disruptions in the summer, eligible students who also enrolled for Maymester, Summer Short I or Extended Summer or Thru sessions are eligible for another grant, ranging from $125 to $500. To date, more than 13,500 UGA students have received financial assistance through this fund.

The University allocated the institutional aid to offset the significant revenue losses suffered by a number of our core student service operations related to student fee refunds. This is allowing UGA to sustain jobs and cover part of associated payroll costs in areas that employ more than 1,100 full-time staff, including such critical areas as Housing, Dining Services and the University Health Center.

We are grateful for this vital federal financial support.